What It Feels Like to Travel with Friends in Laiya, Batangas, Philippines

10:00:00 AM Pinoy Boy Journals 15 Comments

I am quite surprised that after three years of blogging, i haven't written a proper post about this province. True that i have been here on short trips but i haven't written an actual story about it. Yes, I am guilty of taking it for granted. Maybe it's because for me, it's not a feat anymore to travel around this area and it's not really an off the beaten path destination. On my last trip, i found my delight in the province of Batangas.

Located south west of Luzon, the province is flanked by Cavite to the north and the Verde Island Passage to the south, separating it from Mindoro. Roughly 2-4 hours by land from the capital city, Batangas boasts of the best in culture, history and natural wonders. No wonder, it's one of the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines.

Going there?

1. Via Sta. Rosa – Tagaytay – Nasugbu route (Western Side) Drives you to the scenic view of Taal Volcano, and to the resorts and hotels in Nasugbu, Lian, Calatagan, Lemery and Balayan.

2· Via Star Highway – Lipa route (Eastern Side) Brings you to diving sites of Anilao and Laiya, and the resorts and hotels in Lipa City, Bauan, San Juan and Mabini.

Home to the most number of Philippine heroes like Apolinario Mabini, Marcella Agoncillo, Miguel Malvar and Jose P. Laurel!

Home to the smallest active volcano in the world / a volcano within a volcano - Mt. Taal!

Home to the biggest church in the Philippines -  Basilica of St. Martin de Tours!

Home to the country's most popular sandy beaches and dive spots like Anilao, Calatagan, Mabini and Laiya!

The list goes on and on...

I went early this year with my colleagues, including Patti of Life's My Trip (Read her post here) and spent the weekend at the beach. After a hectic week at work, it's always nice to unwind and get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, right? For Manilenyos, the nearest place to get some sun is in Batangas. For someone who travels solo most of the time, it's definitely a welcome excitement for me. I got to spend time with people from work, minus the job order. Although i have to be honest that there are times when i felt uneasy that i am traveling with a big group, but in the end it taught me that some trips are more memorable when shared.

It's alway possible to maximize the weekend for a quick getaway trip. I left Makati City at around 7 in the evening, coming from a meeting with the client. I arrived in our destination four hours later. The rest of the night, well, i have to stay was pretty interesting!

My destination was in Calatagan, Batangas - home to famous beaches and magnificent coves. I stayed at a beach house (my review of the beach resort later). My memory of this trip resembles that of the rising and dying sun. I was able to watch the most beautiful sunrise and sunset here and it really inspired me to think of Batangas in a whole different perspective.

When one thinks of the beaches of Batangas, people describe it as spoiled and commercialized. Beyond the five star resorts and hectare wide beach front properties, what's left of Batangas will surely fancy your interest. The sand is still white and the water, mostly clear. The local people here are a lover of good time. I slept at around 7 in the morning and the neighbors were still drinking Tanduay and singing Mariah Carey tunes. Gotta love these people! I walked  a lot and i always found myself exploring the sea. The view is spectacular here and the nearby islands of Mindoro and Abra De Ilog offer a spectacle to onlookers. 
I woke up to the dawn of the new day and watched as fisher folks harvest their catches. It was a quiet time for me as most of my colleagues were still asleep after a night of merry making. I spent the rest of the minutes, looking up and down, far away reaching the horizon. Later, I watched as the day turned into night at the very same spot right here where i took this photo, with my eyes closed and feeling the cool wind breeze. Sunsets here are particularly dramatic too. I complement the awesome view with a bottle of San Miguel on one hand while cracking jokes and chatting up. Fun times! 

The rest of the time i was with my colleagues, we drank beer and cheap rhum, we ate fresh grilled food, we sang tunes via the karaoke machine and we bonded like brothers and sisters. I always mention how some places are perfect for solo traveling while others should be spent with the people you love. 

Photographed by Patti Mallari
Check out her amazing travel photos and stories at Life's My Trip.

I think Batangas is one perfect place where you can tag along your whole family, your friends and loved ones. Schedule a trip with them and share memories that will last you a lifetime!

After a few solo trips before this, it's always nice to travel with the people who are special to you. I spent an awesome weekend with these people in Batangas and it surely made a mark in my heart. I am opening up to traveling with people now.



Nice photos Jerik! :-)

Batangas beaches used to be our quick and easy to access hideaway during weekends. No need for long boat ride.

MheAnne said...

nice post Jerik.I frequented Batangas as well but have only written post on Verde Islands, The Farm and Batangas City. I haven't yet written anything on Calatagan, Lemery,Balayan and the likes coz i have no digital pictures of them. I guess, as you said,I took it for granted and do not consider it a feat being there.

Chyng said...

Remains to be the instant getaway for a beach escapade. Super accessible!

And I agree with you. Some places are just more perfect when you have your family and friends around. Nainggit kaya ako nung nag-Pagudpud ako mag-isa. May pamilyang sabay sabay kumakain, tapos may barkadahan na nagjjumpshot! Inggit ako! hehe

Anonymous said...

HI Jerik,

Another place that I would like you to introduce is Punto Miguel, Balete Batangas or Laiya, Batangas.


@PinkIngrid thank you so much! I am saving up for an DSLR soon so i can capture images even with weak lighting. Thank you, DJ! Hope you can play my fav tune soon! Let me know!

@lakwatsera de primera i agree because of its proximity, it's really a fav beach of most people living in the city. But i get to think sometimes, the time consumed traveling including traffic versus flying to Cebu and going to the nearest beach. almost the same eh?!

@Mhe-anne Ojeda Wow! i haven't been to any of the places you've mentioned. Right? I've been to many parts of Batangas even during the time i started blogging but haven't written anything about it. So i though, i might as well write. It's a beautiful province. How was "The Farm", i'm dying to go there. But the problem is i travel solo, so how's it gonna be? I don't think i can pay for two people when i'm just there alone.

@Chyng nakakalungkot! ako, there are lonely moments when i'm on the road. Sometimes, i would call home. I just wish my family is as in love with traveling as i am. Batangas is definitely a group, family, couple getaway destination! My loneliest experience was when in Singapore! I ordered a lot of really delicious food. I wish i was sharing the feast with my family.

@Jenny B If the team plans a quick weekend getaway, suggest that! Thanks! Hope your China trip is good to go na!

I have never experience traveling alone. I could try it for curiosity but I still think I can't travel alone. Travel is best remembered not just to see places or experience other things or cultures but a great time to have bond and shared it with family and friends where most of unforgettable memories are built. You'll trips are more memorable having share it other travel mates.

I've never been to Calatagan but Matabungkay, Lian also has beautiful beaches too which are quiet, calm and perfect for family/friends bonding...

This is a nice writing too, I enjoyed reading... 'liked the sunsets and sunrise photos.

@Ian Thank you so much for your kind words. I still don't have plans for the holy week, and i am hoping for a change, to spend it with my family. I want to treat them. I just want them to experience the joys of traveling! Thanks again!

vin said...

been an avid reader of your solo trips. it's a breath of fresh air to see you traveling with others as well ;)

@Vin yah man, there are places where it's best when you're traveling with friends or family. this trip to Batangas couldn't be more perfect because i was with a group of fun loving individuals. Thanks a lot. I live to travel and inspire. I read your blog. Good that you're starting to conquer more places, and i love how you talk about your experiences. Keep the passion alive, alright?